Zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), also known as zirconia, is a white crystalline oxide of zirconium. Its most naturally occurring form is the mineral baddeleyite with a monoclinic crystalline structure. Cubic zirconia is adopant stabilized cubic structured zirconia, and it can be synthesized in various colors for use as a gemstone and a diamond simulant.
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The main use of zirconia is in the production of hard ceramics. Some of its uses include as a protective coating on particles of titanium dioxide pigments, as a refractory material, in insulation, abrasives and enamels.
Stabilized zirconia is used in oxygen sensors and fuel cell membranes because it has the ability to allow oxygen ions to move freely through the crystal structure at high temperatures. This high ionic conductivity (and a low electronic conductivity) makes it one of the most useful electroceramics.
Zirconium dioxide is also used as the solid electrolyte in electrochromic devices.
Zirconia is a precursor to the electroceramic lead zirconate titanate (PZT), which is a high-K dielectric, which is found in myriad components.